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Ambush by Dre: A Case Study of the National Football League and the Challenges Arising from Conflicting Sponsorship Strategies

Michael L. Naraine, Benoît Séguin, and Eric MacIntosh

In this case study, students are exposed to the issue of stakeholder management through the lens of the National Football League (NFL), using a contemporary example of ambush marketing and player endorsement deals as the primary context. The case depicts nonfictitious events that involve players and their disdain for league policies regarding donning brands and products that violate exclusivity agreements the league has with other companies. After identifying the origins of the circumstances, the case profiles the three principal stakeholder groups involved (i.e., the players, the ambushed sponsor, and the focal organization) through their respective leaders (i.e., DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL players association, Bob Maresca, president of Bose Corporation, and Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL). Using fictitious commentary, the case culminates with the three actors utilizing the services of a sports consultancy firm as they work together to determine the best course of action. Learning objectives include understanding collegiality in a professional setting, and mitigating conflicting sponsorship strategies.

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New to the Board: A Case Study of Canadian Tire Corporation and the Potential Purchase of the Forzani Group Limited

Michael L. Naraine, Jess C. Dixon, and Candice Horton

This case study explores the potential purchase of the Forzani Group Limited by the Canadian Tire Corporation. Students take on the role of Sara Brown, a new member of Canadian Tire’s board of directors. With an emergency meeting scheduled for the following morning to decide the fate of the proposed acquisition, Brown has been called upon to provide input to the board given her aptitude for corporate acquisitions and mergers. The case profiles both companies and details the state of the retail sport industry in Canada. Notably, there is emphasis on company product offerings (e.g., merchandise), financials (e.g., balance sheets), and goodwill (e.g., charities) to provide students with pertinent information to develop their argument(s) for and/or against the acquisition. Primary learning objectives include engaging in environmental scanning exercises (e.g., SWOT analyses) and evaluating market forces present in the retail sporting goods industry.

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California Streamin’: Developing an Integrated Social Media Strategy to Attract Fans to a New Streaming App

Lynley Ingerson, Michael L. Naraine, Nola Agha, and Daniel J. Pedroza

Laurie Spinks is the Director of Social Engagement at NBC Sports Bay Area. She has been instrumental in developing strategies for social media platforms across a number of different sports, and must now develop a social media strategy which drives fans towards a new app. NBC Sports created the My Teams app to counter cord-cutting and allow sport fans to stream live games of their favorite local teams on their mobile devices. Prior to the launch of the app in the Bay Area, Spinks will meet with her team to formulate a social media strategy which supports the new app. This case explores some of the elements that contribute to the development of a social media marketing strategy for the NBC Sports My Teams app. In particular, the strategy focuses on targeting the San Francisco Bay Area sport audience by identifying and developing social media objectives, creating an audience profile for app usage, and implementing appropriate strategies to support objectives and attract the desired audience.

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Sport4Change: Adapting to COVID-19 Through Innovation

Mitchell McSweeney, Per G. Svensson, and Michael L. Naraine

The case explores how Sport4Change will adapt its sport-for-development (SFD) programs in response to the current uncertainty presented by COVID-19. Being able to innovate program operations, implementation, and delivery is key to the success and long-term sustainability of Sport4Change, and changing program strategies needs to be done correctly given the organization’s varying locations around the world. Making such decisions requires consideration of the various contexts in which Sport4Change works, understanding diverse options to implement SFD through technological or remote means, and aligning remote delivery and operations with each SFD location and their in-person program focus and goals in order to come up with solutions to ensure SFD remains impactful during COVID-19.

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One Nation, Two Teams: Repositioning the Toronto Blue Jays Among the Threat of a New Entrant

Keegan Dalal, Lindee Declercq, Megan C. Piché, Craig G. Hyatt, and Michael L. Naraine

While many teams face difficult decisions regarding their branding, this case emphasizes how external factors can dictate marketing strategies. The Montreal Expos returning to Major League Baseball poses many threats and opportunities for the Toronto Blue Jays. As a result, the Blue Jays must reconsider their use of national identity in their branding—and whether it is appropriate to transition from being Canada’s only team to now sharing the market with the Expos. Nevertheless, the Expos’ return to Major League Baseball provides the Blue Jays with an opportunity to explore new marketing strategies. Case participants are tasked with repositioning the Blue Jays’ marketing strategy in response to the Expos’ return.

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To Stream or Not to Stream? A Case of Social Media Management Within a Professional Sport Organization

Sarah Wymer, Michael L. Naraine, Ashleigh-Jane Thompson, and Andy J. Martin

This is a fictional case based on the actual management of a social media strategy that occurred in a professional sport organization in Queensland, Australia. The intention of the case is to explore a range of social media management themes such as live streaming, audience reach, fan engagement, and decision making as they apply to a sport organization. The case primarily focuses on social media live streaming (specifically Facebook Live) and aims to provide an understanding of live video posts in comparison with other post types (i.e., photo, video, text, and links). The case develops within the theoretical frameworks of relationship marketing, fan engagement, and social media, and is suitable for students learning about sport marketing, sport sponsorship, promotion and public relations, and other communication courses in sport management. Specifically, students are tasked with developing a range of potential strategies to support the lead character, Michael Battersby, in implementing live streaming within a social media strategy.